First, a link to today’s main story from Pat Riley’s news conference: CLICK ME!
So much was fascinating about Pat Riley’s news conference today, and we’ll take a closer look at much of it in the next few days, but one nugget stuck out to me in particular. Riley was critical of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra for the first time.
Riley said that Spoelstra needs to reinvent himself this offseason.
“And that’s being nice,” Riley said.
I followed up on that comment and asked Riley of his assessment of Spoelstra’s coaching this past season and in the NBA Finals. Riley was ready.
Riley’s offseason message to Spoelstra:
“Take stock in what happened this year. Take stock in the last four years. Take stock in the last four years. Take stock on your defense.”
Riley’s criticism of Spoelstra: “We were a top-five defensive team. He comes from a defensive family of background and tree, and so basically I think we were down in the middle of the pack most of the season. And if you want history, it shows you that anybody that’s down that low very rarely wins a championship. You got to do both. You’ve got to have a dynamic defense first, OK, that rebounds the basketball. And you’ve got to have a dynamic offense in today’s game.”
Riley then expressed confidence that Spoelstra would refocus his efforts this offseason:
“Erik is a student. He’ll go to work on this, and he’ll study it, and we’ll sit down and talk about it. He’s got someone that he can talk to that knows something about coaching, and so, I’m not going to make any decisions, but at least he can bounce things off of me if he wants to. Don’t worry, he will reinvent himself in some way, shape or form to help this team become better.”